The Blotter

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IT'S ELECTRIC: When Ben Franklin first "discovered" electricity, I wonder if he ever conceived of a device like the Taser. More and more, cops are bypassing the deadly force used to apprehend criminals in the past, and instead are utilizing the power of the prong to nab fleeing criminals. Take the man on a bicycle at Poinsettia Avenue and Brooks Street in Tampa. After a short exchange with an officer, the man fled the scene on foot. The officer gave chase, ordering the fleeing man to stop running and give himself up. After two blocks the officer had enough exercise and deployed his Taser. Per the report: "Both prongs struck the defendant who was immediately immobilized and taken into custody without further incident." Good shot.

SHOCKINGLY BAD TIMING: Or how about this unlucky criminal, who decided to steal some T-shirts from the Family Dollar store on Nebraska Avenue in Tampa. As he grabbed the merch, a store employee spotted the man and chased him out the back door of the business ... where he emerged right in front of an officer who happened to be driving by on a routine patrol. The officer stopped, identified himself and tried to get the man to surrender. Of course, the suspect continued running with the officer in pursuit. The chase came to an end as the suspect attempted to hop a fence but was instead dropped to the ground with a well-placed Taser shot to the back. The man, whom the report lists as "not injured," was quickly taken into custody.

CHEEKY BASTARD: And how about the guy stopped by police for riding a bike at midnight without a headlight. Had he known what was coming next, the man might have given up right away. Instead, when confronted, "The subject fled and refused to stop." The report goes on to say, "The subject was subsequently shot with a Taser. The subject was struck in his right cheek." Ouch. You have to hand it to the guy, however, as he was one cool customer. The report continues, "The subject was going to be transported to the hospital for prong removal, when the subject reached up and removed it himself." At least he wasn't afraid to face the music.

From the files of the T.P.D.

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